LCSO: Deputies stop stolen car with spike strip, driver flees on bike

LCSO: Deputies stop stolen car with spike strip, driver flees on bike
Heather Renee Smith, 36

EUGENE, Ore. -- A high speed police chase through west Eugene on Saturday morning ended with a woman trying to evade officers on a bicycle near Junction City, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said. 

Officials said that police stopped the stolen car she was driving with a spike strip deployed on River Road.

At around 9:40 a.m. Saturday officers in west Eugene received a report that a vehicle reported stolen earlier that morning was parked in a shopping center near Royal Avenue.

Officials said that the driver then took off, leading police on a chase down Highway 99. Officers called off the chase after a short time because of dangerous driving conditions.

Sergeant Matt Keetle with LCSO said that officers relocated the driver on River Road a short time later.

"We used a technique we call tactical vehicle intervention, she spun out and stopped for a moment. Then she rammed into a couple of our patrol cars and took off again," said Sgt. Keetle.

Officials reported that Junction City Police deployed a spike strip and stopped the speeding car near the intersection of Love Lake and River Roads.

Police at the scene said that the driver, later identified as Heather Smith, 36, abandoned the vehicle and ran from officers.

Sgt. Keetle said that Smith found a nearby bicycle and tried to escape pursuing officers, who eventually caught up with her.

Deputies booked Smith at the Lane County Jail on multiple charges, including possession of burglary tools, four counts of hit-and-run, eluding police and reckless endangering another. 

Officials at the jail confirmed that Smith was released nearly 6 hours after her booking, pointing to limited jail space that prohibited them from lodging her long-term. Smith still faces the listed charges.

KVAL reporters talked to Emilie Oaks at the scene, the owner of the car.

She said that her car was parked in her driveway at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. When the Oaks left the house at around 7:30 a.m., she said that her car was gone. 

"It was below empty when she stole it, so I don't know how she made it here," said Oaks, looking at her damaged car. "She obviously has more money than I do."


This is a developing story. This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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